Tuesday, October 07, 2003

A (real) Palm handheld

I never expected the M505 to be a perfect handheld, not after all my research.
It had its quirks, and was especially susceptible to static electricity while in the cradle. Quite often I would accidentally "zap" it (and groan), then I would have to do a soft reset before I could HotSync again. There was also the irritating little bug with the Beam Receive setting. It seemed to have a mind of its own, and would reset itself to "On", which meant that the battery charge would decrease quicker than normal. At first I used a Hack (IrOff) to overcome this problem. The problem finally got fixed when I upgraded the OS from 4.0 to 4.1 (which introduced a few minor quirks of its own).
Despite these quirks, I really liked the Palm M505. Its small size and form factor was just right. There had been a lot of complaints on newsgroups about its screen. Even after the bright screen of the iPaq, the screen of the Palm M505 was not that bad. The main thing I had to remember was that the better the external light, the easier the screen was to read. In dim light, when it became difficult to read, it was just a case of turning on the backlight. Pictures really looked good in 65000+ colors, and so did web pages in AvantGo.
The M505 was the first Palm I had bought which shipped with Documents to Go. Being able to view and edit Word Documents on a handheld was great. I did not use the Spreadsheet part much though, because I needed the memory for other programs.
One of the first accessories I bought was a SD card. I used the freeware version of BackupBuddyVFS to backup my Palm inbetween HotSyncs. Once I had put in the SD card, it stayed in the slot - it was just to small and easy to lose once it was removed.

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